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17 November 2017

4 Ways to Better Understand Constituents with CRM

Constituent relationship management (CRM) software is an incredible tool to help you better understand your constituents and reach them on a more personal level. By providing a holistic view of interactions, preferences and behaviors, you have the information you need to deliver targeted, customized experiences that will serve to strengthen your relationship with constituents.

Here are 4 ways to better understand your donors through CRM:

1. Giving History & Habits

If you are paying attention to a constituent’s giving history, you can develop appropriate and consistent interactions with them that make their journey with you a meaningful one.Since following up is critical to the donor experience, we’ll use that example. Whether a constituent donates $1,000 unexpectedly or sends $10 monthly via automatic payment, receiving a generic thank you message can make them feel disconnected. With a little customization (“your incredibly generous $1,000 donation will make a difference….” OR “we simply cannot express how much it means to us that you’ve committed to making a monthly contribution”), personalized thank-you notes feel more genuine and have a greater impact on a donor’s perception of your organization.

2. Communication Preferences

Understanding if donors prefer email, phone calls, direct mail or text messages – and their tolerance for how frequently–is crucial to building a more personalized experience.You know that friend that despises phone calls, but if you send a text, she’ll text you right back? Communication channels can be a very personal choice. By respecting their wishes and communicating with constituents on their terms, you build trust and loyalty.


3. Online Behavior

CRM technology can track search and click habits, time spent on your website, your blog, emails opened, social media networks constituents are active on, etc. Understanding how your constituents are behaving online, allows you to develop more effective engagement strategies.For example, social media is an excellent tool for driving awareness and engagement, but it can be time-consuming. If your constituents tend to be on twitter more than any other channel, you know where you should be prioritizing your time.


4. Relationships & Special Interests

In addition to giving history, online behavior and communication preferences, CRMs can gather a range of information about your constituents, including demographic information, corporate relationships, event attendance, interests and more.By knowing your audience and creating segmented lists of constituents with common characteristics, you can ensure that they are receiving the right information at the right time. Let’s say a new donor just contributed to your capital campaign. His profile tells you that he works for an organization that offers corporate matching. You can follow-up with a thank you email that provides him with everything he needs to receive the corporate match. You’ll build credibility with your donor and he’ll be elated that he is able to double his contribution.Today’s donors want to have authentic connections with the organizations they support. CRM technology provides the kind of valuable insights you need to create those connections. The stronger the customer profiles, the better you’ll be able to develop more meaningful messaging and experiences. (You can’t measure what you don’t track!) By keeping your data up-to-date and accurate, you can create more customized interactions and build deeper relationships with your constituents.